Cayman Islands and UK gov’ts streamline beneficial ownership dealings

The Cayman Islands government’s plans to “enhance its existing arrangements” with the UK government, on the exchange of beneficial ownership information in relation to Cayman Islands companies have been published.

The proposed enhancement, was originally signalled in December 2015 and introduced in April last year, following months of discussions between the UK and Cayman Islands authorities, is now live and set for enforcement in June.

Law firm Maples and Calder has issued an update summarising the new obligations of covered entities to maintain a beneficial ownership register at their Cayman Islands registered offices, with a licensed corporate service provider. Listed companies and LLCs, or those subject to direct or indirect regulatory oversight, are exempt from liabilities, and the regime does not apply directly to companies registered in the Cayman Islands as a foreign company, the company said.

The changes are set to be formally implemented ahead of any decision being implemented on the proposed amendments to the UK’s Criminal Finances Bill 2017, which would force British Crown Dependencies and Overseas Territories (CDOTs), to establish publicly accessible registers of company beneficial ownership by 2019, as reported, elsewhere by International Investment today.

According to Maples and Calder, which specialises with Cayman Islands-based companies, the enhancement will be finalised by June 2017 with details of the operation of the new centralised beneficial ownership platform now available.

The full Maples and Calder document is available here.

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